KFC’s parent company, Yum! Brands Inc, has withdrawn its business from Russia and sold the franchise rights to a Russian franchisee, Smart Service, owned by Konstantin Kotov and Andrey Oskolkov, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Reuters.
The future of KFC and Rostic’s in Russia
As of this past week, KFC locations in Russia have begun to reopen under their new name, Rostic’s. One of the only changes seems to be the name, with the predominantly fried chicken menu and the red and white branding staying the same.
However, since part of the sale included franchise rights, some franchisees may choose to remain as KFC and will not be forced to switch to Rostic’s.
“We can no longer open KFC restaurants, unfortunately, but we are obliged to support them,” said Kotov. “Our main goal is to rebrand. We have a plan to finish the whole country in 18 months.”
Other rebrands in Russia
In a similar move, McDonald’s sold its Russian business last year also citing the invasion of Ukraine as the reason for the chain’s departure. However, McDonald’s branding was not included in the sale, so when locations reopened, it was under a new identity, Vkusno & tochka.
Many other brands have totally or partially suspended operations in Russia in response to the invasion including other food producers like Starbucks, Danone, Nestlé, Little Caesars and Burger King as well as other businesses such as Marriott, Ikea and Nike, according to the New York Times.